NIWRC Statement in Response to Removed Instagram Content Related to Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls


(LAME DEER, Mont., May 6, 2021)— Today we were deeply disappointed to hear from advocates and community members that their recent Instagram Stories concerning missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and relatives had been removed or taken down overnight, including many of which were shared in support of the National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls #MMIWGActionNow campaign. This content removal also included Instagram Stories that NIWRC shared on May 5, 2021, including past Stories we had pinned to our feed from our supporters. As soon as we became aware, NIWRC crowd-sourced for details and screenshots of the removed content, which so far, we have received about 92 reports of deleted content, as of 4:00 p.m. MDT.

To address the issue, NIWRC immediately contacted Facebook, which owns Instagram, and shared the number of reports we received. The company was responsive in investigating these removed posts, later sharing they were experiencing a global technical issue regarding uploading and viewing Instagram Stories that engineers were working to fix.

“We appreciate Facebook’s responsiveness to our concerns on behalf of the thousands of Indigenous advocates, community members and organizations who have worked tirelessly to shed light and spur action for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and relatives on and around May 5th,” said Lucy Simpson (Diné), NIWRC Executive Director. “As a Native-led anti-violence organization, we believe the erasure of Indigenous voices is violence and are deeply committed to holding corporations accountable for the censorship and erasure of Native voices, especially on such a personal issue that affects us all.”